Sakshi Dhoni to appear in court in the Amrapali case
Sakshi Dhoni, cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni's wife is expected to be presented before Delhi's Tis Hazari court in the Amrapali Housing case. In February 2016, Sakshi had been summoned by the court after a west Delhi-based resident had alleged delays in getting possession of the flats. Sakshi holds 25% stake in the business enterprise along with Amrapali group owner Anil Kumar Sharma.
Amrapali is a realty firm, which is a part of the Delhi-based Amrapali Group, which operates in fields like healthcare, education, FMCG, hospitality, entertainment, infrastructure, etc. Anil Kumar Sharma is the Chairman and Managing Director of the group, which was founded a decade ago by Madan Mohan Sharma. The realty firm has over 50 projects including residential, commercial and IT parks to its credit.
Delhi-based realty company Amrapali had signed up Indian Cricket Skipper MS Dhoni as their brand ambassador to boost the sales. Anil Sharma, CMD-Amrapali, had stated that their projects target the common man who doesn't know anything about the company; so, having celebs on board adds to the company's brand value and credibility. He added that brand ambassadors impact company's sales either directly or indirectly.
MS Dhoni, the brand ambassador for Amrapali, had become a key figure in the company's realty advertisements for residential properties. Dhoni also featured in a prominent figure on Amrapali website's homepage. The association between Amrapali and Dhoni was such that a joint venture-Amrapali Mahi Developers Private Limited was started. MS Dhoni's wife, Sakshi, holds a 25% stake in the real estate joint venture.
The Income Tax Department's unit in Ranchi was investigating the tax implications of four post-dated cheques worth of Rs.75 crore, issued to MS Dhoni by Anil Sharma, CMD-Amrapali. Reportedly, the cheques were issued during 2011-12, which were to be encashed in 2014. The IT-raid on Amrapali offices in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh, followed by investigations, was routed to Ranchi where Dhoni was an assessee.
Amrapali group stated that they had issued the cheques as their 'assurance and commitment' for a cricket academy to be opened in Ranchi. Whereas, Dhoni's spokesperson said that the issued cheques were a security of Dhoni's investment in Amrapali.
Sapphire Complex in Noida, comprising of 1000 flats spread across 40,000 square meters was launched in 2009, which was to be completed by 2011. The project was incomplete in 2011; the buyers gave time to the developers to complete the project. Even after two years, the civil and electrical works weren't completed; enraged, 800 buyers moved into the complex which had no 'Occupation Certificate'.
One of the many residential projects of Amrapali, Sapphire Complex in Noida, had landed both the developers and Dhoni in trouble. The residents of the complex had started protesting against the group for not fulfilling their promises and allegedly cheating them. The residents tagged Amrapali ambassador-Dhoni in the Twitter campaign #AmrapaliMisuseDhoni and requested him to urge the developers to complete the project soon.
On 10 April 16, Dhoni said that he would get in touch with Amrapali Group regarding the Sapphire complex matter and despite issues, the project shall be completed in three months. He added that Amrapali must fulfill their promises.
Ending their six-year-long association, MS Dhoni resigned as Amrapali's brand ambassador, and it is likely that Sakshi Dhoni might also dissociate herself from the Amrapali Group soon. Dhoni's resignation surfaced within a week after the residents of Sapphire Complex asked him to end his contract. Anil Sharma, CMD-Amrapali, stated that a mutual decision was taken as they didn't want Dhoni's image to be marred.
Following Dhoni's resignation, Harbhajan Singh lashed out at Amrapali group. He tweeted that the Indian team hadn't been allotted villas as promised after the 2011 World-Cup victory. Anil Sharma, CMD-Amrapali, immediately responded and said that the villas, which Amrapali never denied, were in their final stages. He added that the players never contacted them from their end, and hence some formalities couldn't be completed.